Incite -- (v) 1: give an incentive; 2: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; 3: urge on; cause to act
Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The dumbest thing I have ever heard this week
Written by: Beck

This is virtually too stupid for words. Naturally, it's happening in California.
The California Assembly is betting that kids learn more with small books.

Lawmakers voted Thursday to ban school districts from purchasing textbooks longer than 200 pages.

The bill, believed to be the first of its kind nationwide, was hailed by supporters as a way to revolutionize education.

Critics lambasted Assembly Bill 756 as silly.
The reason critics lambasted the bill as "silly" is because "the dumbest fucking thing yet to come out of the California legislature" was unprintable. Mind you, I wouldn't bet a dime that the CA government hasn't done something, er, sillier. Nonetheless, you see my point.

And now, to shoot some barrel-dwelling fish:
But Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg, a Los Angeles Democrat who chairs the Assembly Education Committee, said critics are thinking too narrowly.

California schools are teaching kids with the same kinds of massive books that were used generations ago, though the world has changed significantly, Goldberg said.
That's right. Before, the world was sufficiently complicated to require large text books. Now days, however, everything in the world is far simpler, typically taking up 198 pages or fewer.
The workplace increasingly demands more than the ability to read Page 435 of some manual.

It requires expertise in using the Internet to research and solve problems, according to Goldberg.
That's right, why learn to read when you can learn to Google? After all, something worth doing is worth doing really half-assed.
"Our textbooks are not going to be able to meet that standard," said Goldberg, a former Compton high school teacher. "I think it's time for us to begin to approach the problem in a different way."
What, by chopping text books into two volumes and selling them separately at inflated prices? Or perhaps learning should be outlawed altogether, as it's fruitless pursuit can be damaging to the self-esteem of morons. No, wait, I have an idea on how to "approach the problem from a different way." Let's start by rounding up every single California politician and/or bureaucrat and shipping them to China (I would say France, but I suspect the French have more common sense), where the only book you need to educate anyone is little and handily color-coded.
AB 756 would force publishers to condense key ideas, basic problems and basic knowledge into 200 pages, then to provide a rich appendix with Web sites where students can go for more information.
Translation Into English: AB 756 would force publishers to dumb-down key concepts, eliminate details, facts, and other relevant information, and turn an instrument of learning into a smallish, easily transported fusion of the concepts behind Cliff's Notes and those -For Dummies guide books.
AB 756 was approved by a vote of 42-28, with most Republicans opposing the measure. It now goes to the Senate.
Why does this not surprise me?
Lawmakers were given no estimates, however, of potential impacts to student backpacks or campus coffers.

Goldberg said the thrust of her bill is learning, not economics.
I'm inclined to believe that it's about neither learning
economics. Unless by "economics" you mean "giving a bunch of money to the text-book publishing industry to publish abridged versions of all their offerings."
"We're talking about a dynamic education system that brings young people into being a part of the learning process," she said.
Always beware of people using the adjective "dynamic." Unless it's a physicist discussing a non-static mechanical system, dynamic is almost exclusively an adjective used by intellectually bankrupt pontificators attempting to sound like they know what they're actually talking about.

Oh, and is Goldberg actually suggesting that, prior to the advent of comic book sized textbooks, students were not part of the learning process? I mean, really, that last sentence would retain precisely the same amount of meaning if instead it were just a string of gibberish.
The Association of American Publishers opposes the bill, saying the arbitrary 200-page limit could force publishers to produce multiple volumes to cover the state's content standards.
This is the really astonishing part. Even the text-book publishers don't support this bill.
One key question, [Michael Kirst, a Stanford education professor and co-director of Policy Analysis for Education] said, is whether a 200-page limit would be equally practical for every subject - from math to social science.
Gee, what a revolutionary notion. Perhaps the best way to teach calculus doesn't actually involve running a Google search. And finally, I leave you with this last bit of idiocy. I'll go ahead and leave it to you, dear reader, to spot the painfully awful flaw with the last sentence.
"(AB 756) says don't give students a predigested version of what U.S. history is, let them explore the Smithsonian and the Library of Congress," Goldberg said.

"It's time for California to be the leader that it always has been."
I think I've discovered the real problem. California's legislators must have been educated... in California.

(Hat tip: Captain's Quarters)

Contact The Author:

John Beck

Feedback Welcomed

Greatest Hits

The Complete United Nations Posts
Immoderate Moderates
Marketing Myopia
In defense of the Republic
UKIP in America
Playing Connect the Dots
A Point So Often Missed: The Presence of an Administered Rate
Reagan Remembrance
Dr. Wolfowitz, or How I Supported the Right War Waged in the Wrong Way for the Wrong Reasons
Divine Right of Kings and UN Mandates
A Fantastic Idea, If I Do Say So Myself
Why We Were Right to Liberate Iraq
The Crisis of Conservatism

Blogs Worth Bookmarking

Steal The Blinds
Poor Dudley's Almanac
Protein Wisdom
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
New Sisyphus
Jim Treacher
Ace of Spades
Captain's Quarters
Rambling's Journal
Neolibertarian Blog
LLP Group Blog
The Llama Butchers
The Castle Argghhh
The Politburo Diktat
The Dissident Frogman
In Search of Utopia
Aaron's cc:
You Know You Wanna
Classical Values
Clowning Glory
Vice Squad
Hit & Run
Link Mecca
The Corner
Power Line
Michelle Malkin
Mises Institute
marchand chronicles
Enlighten - New Jersey

More Top Reads

SlagleRock's Slaughterhouse
This Blog is Full of Crap
Who Tends the Fires
The Bleat
Outside the Beltway
Small Dead Animals
Kim du Toit
Tman in Tennessee
Hog On Ice
Pardon My English
Mr. Minority
Speed Of Thought
La Shawn Barber
Right Wing News
USS Clueless
Belmont Club
Shades of Gray
Seldom Sober
Roger L. Simon
Tacoma Blaze
A Small Victory
Murdoc Online
Iraq Elections Diatribe
Winds of Change
Enlighten - New Jersey
Random Fate
Riding Sun
The Daily File
Matt "The Man" Margolis
Bastard Sword
Roller Coaster of Hate

News Links

Blogger News Network
National Review Online
Tech Central Station
The Drudge Report
Reason Online
Mises Institute
The Weekly Standard
Front Page Magazine
Town Hall

Affiliations, Accolades, & Acknowledgements

The Neolibertarian Network


Image Hosted by
"More tallent than a million monkeys with typewriters."
--Glenn Reynolds

Image Hosted by

Image Hosted by

Image Hosted by

Life, Liberty, Property Community

Reciprocal Blogrolling

Accidental Verbosity
Conservative Eyes
The Moderate Voice
Perpetual Three-Dot Column
Sudan Watch
Mystery Achievement
Le Sabot Post-Moderne
Comment Me No Comments
New Spew

Links That Amuse the Writers

Huffington's Toast
The IFOC News
Dave Barry's Blog
Drum Machine
Something Awful
Cox & Forkum
Exploding Dog


March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
August 2006
March 2007
May 2007
June 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
September 2008
November 2008
December 2008
March 2009
April 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009

The Elephant Graveyard

We Are Full of Shit
The Sicilian
The Diplomad
Insults Unpunished
Fear & Loathing in Iraq
Right Wingin-It
Serenity's Journal
Son of Nixon
Rachel Lucas


Site Design by Maystar
Ask not for whom the blog tolls...
This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?
Weblog Commenting and Trackback by

Listed on Blogwise
Blogarama - The Blog Directory


Image Hosted by

Email Questions and Comments

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
eXTReMe Tracker